UH Hilo students bring home awards from statewide Marine Option Program Symposium

All four UH Hilo students who attended symposium brought home awards, including Best Research Presentation, which has now been won by UH Hilo MOP students for 27 of the past 32 years.

Four students from the Marine Option Program at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo came home this week with awards from the statewide MOP Student Symposium. This year the symposium was held on an online teleconference platform due to the coronovirus. The annual MOP event features oral and poster presentations by undergraduate students from UH campuses around the state.

All four students attending from UH Hilo brought home awards, including Best Research Presentation, which has now been won by UH Hilo MOP students for 27 of the past 32 years.

“These outstanding students presented excellent projects in a very competitive field,” says Lisa Parr, program chair of UH Hilo’s Marine Option Program.

Kainalu Steward stands with his mentor Kamala Anthony, fishpond in the background.
Kainalu Steward stands with his mentor Kamala Anthony, a recent graduate of the Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science graduate program. Anthony is an advocate for loko iʻa (Hawaiian fishpond) restoration through the organization Hui Hoʻoleimaluō at Honokea loko iʻa in Keaukaha. “She has mentored me these past three years, by being a great example of conducting community engaged research and mentoring our youth through loko iʻa,” says Steward. Courtesy photo.

The winners are:

  • Sofia Ferreira Colman won Best Research Presentation for her research project, “Seascape Ecology And 3d Photogrammetry Can Elucidate the Relationships Between Coral Patch Characteristics and Chaetodontidae Assemblage Patterns at Laehala, Hilo.”
  • Clara Whetstone won Best Internship Presentation for her presentation entitled, “Internship with Ocean Era: Hawaiian Macroalgae (Limu) Culturing Techniques for Future Offshore Demonstration.”
  • Jastine Honea won the Pacon Award for the project involving the best use of technology with a Pacific focus, for her project, “Patterns of Morphological Variation in an Introduced Population of Peacock Grouper Cephalopholis Argus Around Hawai‘i Island.”
  • Kainalu Steward co-won the Craven Award awarded for Most Inspired and Inspirational Presentation by a MOP “Child of the Sea,” for his project “Investigating Spawning of ‘Alamihi (Metophograpsus Thukuhar) in Relation to the Hawaiian Lunar Calendar and Tidal Changes.”
Jastine leans over fish, which is on a board on the lawn, she examines the fish. There is a camera boom above.
Jastine Honea collects data (weight, length) and is set up to photograph a peacock grouper at a roi round up, Aug. 2019. Her MOP Symposium award recognizes her use of technology with a Pacific focus in her project, “Patterns of Morphological Variation in an Introduced Population of Peacock Grouper Cephalopholis Argus Around Hawai‘i Island.” Courtesy photo.